Bryer Foundation Gift to Aid Medical Research at UM-Flint

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The University of Michigan-Flint will receive a $625,000 gift to fund scientific instrumentation used for medical research. The gift is from the Ben F. Bryer Foundation that was established by the family of Dr. Ben F. Bryer to provide support for medical and biomedical research, with a priority given to research related to cancer.

In 2008, the foundation set up and funded the Ben F. Bryer Foundation Medical Research Fund to encourage and support the medical research endeavors of University of Michigan-Flint faculty. In January of 2009, a Dr. Ben F. Bryer Medical Research Laboratory was opened in UM-Flint’s Murchie Science Building.

There are currently six research projects that are supported by past Bryer Foundation gifts. The studies are spread across campus, and include faculty and students from physical therapy, nursing, biology, and chemistry and biochemistry.

Recent Bryer-Funded Research Projects at UM-Flint:

• Development of a Phage Display Library to Iron Restricted Proteins for Control of Acinetobacter Infections

• Prevention of Cancer and Immune Disorders with Sufficient Vitamin D

• Exploration of patient and hospital structural characteristics in predicting injurious fall occurrences among cancer patients, and the differences between cancer and non-cancer inpatients

• Epigenetic Study of PACE4 Protein Upregulation Associated with Cancer Metastasis

• Balance Impairment as Risk Factors for Falls in Community-Living Older Cancer Survivors: A Prospective Pilot Study

• Effect of Vitamin D on Breast Cancer Cells


This latest gift will bring to nearly $1.3 million the generous support provided to UM-Flint by the Ben F. Bryer Foundation. In the future, the foundation will provide additional financial support to insure that scientific instrumentation funds are available in perpetuity.

“The generosity of the Bryer Foundation has allowed our faculty and students to pursue medical research that would not have been possible without their funding,” said UM-Flint Chancellor Ruth J. Person.

“A high quality education in science that prepares students for medical careers demands extensive laboratory work conducting experiments with the most up-to-date equipment available,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean D. J. Trela. “The generous gift of the Bryer Foundation and the advocacy of the Hurand family serve to insure a high-quality education for our students. We are deeply grateful for their investment in Flint, and in UM-Flint.”

Dr. Ben F. Bryer
Dr. Ben F. Bryer

Dr. Bryer graduated from Flint Central High in 1930. He received a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. His post graduate studies were interrupted when he joined the United States Army as a surgeon during World War II. After the war, he practiced in New York where he continued to share his knowledge of medicine through fellowships, international medical lectures, and publications.

Bess Hurand, the sister of the late Dr. Bryer, serves as a trustee for the foundation. She and her husband Art are long-time Flint area business people known for their generosity. She has been instrumental in directing funds from the foundation to the University of Michigan-Flint and the community.

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